The standoff between the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, and the federal government may be over as the two parties are scheduled to meet on Tuesday.
Speaking in an interview, President of ASUU, Emmanuel Osodeke said the meeting was to discuss one of seven issues ASUU is protesting over,
Osodeke suggested that if Tuesday’s meeting goes well, the strike action may be called off.
He explained that the University Transparency and Accountability Transparency (UTAS) has also been cleared for use by the government to replace the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS).
ASUU had developed UTAS over complaint that the IPPIS deployed by the government for the payment of university workers’ emoluments failed to recognise the peculiarities of the university system, and that it is full of errors.
Osodeke said; “The issue of IPPIS and UTAS have been put to rest because the test has been done. As agreed by the Chief of Staff (to President Muhammadu Buhari, Ibrahim Gambari), UTAS will be implemented to cover all the universities,
“If we go to that meeting tomorrow and the government says they are willing to sign what we negotiated, it’s fine.”
Meanwhile, the striking union has dismissed the government’s claim of lack of funds for the universities, saying the government only lacked the will to fund the system.
Osodeke said; “If you have a will and believe education is important, the government will raise any amount. This is the government that has spent N400 billion naira on trader moni. This is the government that said –while we are on strike– it used N200 billion to feed school children. That’s more than the revitalisation fund we are asking for.”
He recalled that the union had in 2018, made recommendations to the government regarding the sourcing of funds for university education.
He said part of the union’s recommendations to the government was the recent GSM tax the finance ministry allegedly plans to introduce.